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Planet Ice: Mysteries of the Ice Ages

May 20 – September 5, 2022!

Explore the power of ice and cold in shaping the world we live in today. 

Produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature, this fascinating exhibition features more than 120 real specimens, amazing models and artifacts. 

Journey across more than 80 000 years of Earth's history! 

Meet animals adapted for cold—some long extinct, others still alive today. Discover the lands lost long ago under the world's oceans. 

We are still living in an ice age, but the planet is changing. For the first time in human history, we could soon be living on a planet with no polar ice sheets and no glaciers.   

Through engaging exhibits, multimedia and some ''magical'' moments, explore some of these mysteries and reflect upon how humans are not only part of the problem, but also part of the solution. 

Chill out in 3D

Sneak a peek at Planet Ice in this virtual tour and see what exciting mysteries await you.
https://nature.ca/planetice360/

A view of the exhibition.

What You Will See, Learn and Experience  

Journey from deep time to modern day in five themed zones.   

The Power of Ice  (Deep Time) 

Explore the nature of ice. (Hint: It's a mineral!). How is it formed? Why are glaciers important? How did ice shape the planets in our solar system and the foundations for life on Earth? 

Built for Cold  (80  000 Years Ago) 

Encounter amazing creatures—some successfully adapted to survive and thrive (such as muskoxen, caribou and wolves) while others went extinct (such as woolly mammoths and cave bears).  

Meet a Neanderthal adult and child (through scientifically accurate, life-like models) and learn about their adaptations to survive in the cold.  

Lost Lands  (40  000 Years Ago) 

  • Journey to Beringia, the land bridge that once joined Asia and North America   
  • Meet the American lion and the Irish elk with its massive antlers  
  • Follow the evolution of the wolf and the domestication of dogs through artistic dioramas. 

Shaped by Ice  (20  000 Years Ago)  

  • Witness the rise of the mastodon and other imposing animals such as the smilodon, the short-faced bear and the giant beaver 
  • Discover how land features of today were created by giant ice sheets during the last glaciation 
  • See authentic tools and artifacts—thousands of years old—used by the Tuniit (Dorset) and Thule-Inuit peoples to survive in a cold climate. 

Cold Connections  (the Present) 

Reflect upon how the loss of ice could affect species, infrastructure and ecosystems.  

Discover how you can take action to save ''Planet Ice''. 

Cost: A surcharge applies to this special exhibition.

 

Skeletons of extinct animals: a mastodon, a bear on its hind legs, a sabre-toothed cat and a giant beaver.

Here we see skeleton casts of a mastodon and short-faced bear in the foreground. In the background are a sabre-toothed cat called Smilodon and a giant beaver. Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature

A view of the exhibition showing models of a Neanderthal man and child, and a case with a bear skull.

On the right we see a skull of an extinct cave bear, Ursus spelaeus. The competition for shelter by Neanderthals (seen on left) and early modern humans may have contributed to the extinction of the cave bear. Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature

Taxidermied mounts of a caribou, muskox and wolf.

The exhibition features numerous specimens, including these taxidermied animals. Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature

A man looks at ancient artefacts in a case.

Museum scientist Scott Rufolo, Ph.D., looks at artefacts from the Tuniit (Dorset) and Thule-Inuit cultures. These tools and weapons show evidence of early human adaptations to extreme cold. Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature

A boy waves his arm to make a lion image appear on screen.

The exhibition includes some magical moments where you can conjure up an ice-age mammal with a wave of the arm. Red Dog Digital © Canadian Museum of Nature